Karolina is a rising senior at Columbia University, studying Neuroscience and Behavior with Special Concentration in Public Health. In the past, she was working as a research assistant in the Department of Molecular Therapeutics at the New York State Psychiatric Institute but she decided to join the Global Mental Health Program to learn how to approach the issues surrounding mental health from the public health perspective. Striving to create a supportive community for college students struggling with mental illness or psychological distress, she is engaged in mental health advocacy on campus as a member of the JED Working Committee and a Director of Outreach at the Active Minds chapter. Karolina had a chance to develop close relationships with patients suffering from serious mental illness while volunteering at an outpatient mental health clinic and in an emergency department. These experiences and interactions motivate her on a daily basis and inspire her to continue her education in the medical school to ultimately pursue a career in clinical psychiatry while staying involved in mental health advocacy and the global health work.
As a Global Mental Health Program summer intern, Karolina worked closely with Dr. Tahilia Rebello to assist with development of online research studies to test the usefulness, reliability and global applicability of the new ICD-11 diagnostic guidelines for mental and behavioral disorders. She also contributed to development and production of the introductory and disorder-specific training modules on the ICD-11 guidelines, including modules on anxiety and fear-related disorders as well as stress disorders. In addition, Karolina edited and provided feedback on drafts of several chapters which were written for a book intended to guide psychologists in adjusting to the new diagnostic guidelines and researched psychological interventions for intimate partner violence.